New tax rate comes with tough words from Lubbock ISD Chair to Texas Legislature

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock ISD Board Chairman Zach Brady had words for the Texas Legislature on Thursday morning. He did so in the moments before and after the board approved a lower tax rate. (See the video clip above.)

The rate will be $1.13550 per $100 compared to the previous rate of $1.1514. So, the rate will go down, but a lower rate is not always a lower tax bill.

The property tax valuations set by the Lubbock Central Appraisal District will go up in the coming year by 7.44 percent. LCAD said the average valuation (average taxable value) of a home in the LISD will go from $118,797 to $127,636.

Official documentation from the Lubbock ISD board agenda said, “The tax rate will effectively be raised by 5.34% percent and will raise taxes for maintence [sic] and operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $48.70.”

Prior to the vote, the board was informed that as tax collections go up, state funding goes down. To put that in simple terms, the schools are not keeping the extra money from bigger tax bills. It goes back to the state.

In calling for the vote during the trustee meeting, Brady asked, “Do I have a motion?”

“There’s magic words here, and I’m going to add some,” Brady then said.

Brady announced the new numbers and said it was an increase “… in what the legislature mistakenly calls the tax rate, but it’s actually the tax yield.”

He continued, “The increase in said yield will be offset by less funding from the state under a formula adopted by the same legislature.”

The vote was unanimous in favor of the new rate. Brady wasn’t done. He had one more jab at the legislature.

Brady said, “Unanimously is more than two-thirds. I feel that is important to point out to a legislature that thinks that a $1.15 to a $1.13 constitutes an increase.”

Here’s the background for his comment. The Texas Education Agency sets a maximum compressed tax rate for each district across Texas. Anything higher than that requires a two-thirds approval by the school board.

In June, the school board adopted a budget of $245.4 million which was an increase of approximately $5.3 million over the previous fiscal year. Lubbock ISD said at the time it included pay raises above and beyond what was required in state law.

EverythingLubbock.com reached out to local lawmakers. We will provide an update if they wish to make comments.

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